It was around 3 years ago.
People call this guy, laughing loud with all beautifully shaved hair, "Chin-san".
My supple minded head thought he was really Chinese at first.
It is just recently that I got to know he is Japanese and his name is "Tsuyoshi Ishizuka".
Actually, He is a master of Tai Chi holds his own training hall (now in the relocation).
To tell you the truth, I have little idea about himeself and Tai Chi.
However, this is an opportunity to me and 34 people, a saying, who loves "plainjapan depth" all around the world.
It is always exiting to open up the strange gate.
He speaks really gently.
And I also find the state of mind as I listen to his word gradually.
So, please, imagine the scene that Chin-san speaks and read the story with your state of mind. Be silent, silent. Yes, just like you body becomes together with the air surrounded.
Now, breath slowly and cill out. Imagine quiet Chin-san who is now in front of me. He already becomes absorbed with the air.
That is the reason why my automatic focus camera could not capture his head. I tried it several times and all in vain. This is a true story.
So, roughly speaking, what is about Tai-Chi?
"Tai-Chi has some schools and I do "Chin school". Its origin is said to be the Chin-family practicing Tai-Chi in Chin-ka-ko in China while they do agriculture."

Do you know why they have started the martial arts??
"Well, I do not have the clear idea but probably because there were thief at that time, they did it for the self protection."
"Tai-Chi is more than just a martial arts. TAO, By adopting Qigong method, they have intended to grow the inner spirits. Then, today, Tai-Chi's aspects of self curing is very popular. By the way, Chin school is the oldest families among Tai-Chi, therefore it remains lots of aspects as martial arts, bitter part of it"

So, roughly speaking, what is about Tai-Chi?
"Tai-Chi has some schools and I do "Chin school". Its origin is said to be the Chin-family practicing Tai-Chi in Chin-ka-ko in China while they do agriculture."

Do you know why they have started the martial arts??
"Well, I do not have the clear idea but probably because there were thief at that time, they did it for the self protection."
"Tai-Chi is more than just a martial arts. TAO, By adopting Qigong method, they have intended to grow the inner spirits. Then, today, Tai-Chi's aspects of self curing is very popular. By the way, Chin school is the oldest families among Tai-Chi, therefore it remains lots of aspects as martial arts, bitter part of it"

When was it introduced to Japan?
"To tell you the truth, Tai Chi does not have long history in Japan. I guess it was after WW2."

So, before WW2, is there any original self curing method in Japan?
"Yes, there were. However, all those are also imported from China. Concretely speaking, it was to imitate the wild animals. From the article found from the tomb of Maotai dynasty (2000 years ago), there are the pictures of people imitating the animals"

Imitating the animals??

"Right. Like a monkey. As human beings lead a life, it arose acquired disorder or deafness. By imitating the wild animals, we could call the instinct and fix those disorders."
Are there any people doing this now?
"Yes, yes. But since Qigong has a dangerous aspect regarding how people use it, China government took it as a problem and reconstruct it nationwide. They have built their own order"

Then, what made you start Tai-Chi, Chin-san?
"I used to be an actor. In the beginning, Tai-Chi was one of the workshop while I was training as an actor, that is how I met with Tai-Chi for the first time.
IActor's training is something vague and as part of it, I have adopted Tai-Chi to build inner spirits and develop the subconscious.
Make my physical relaxed and prepare my body for the inspirations."

I suppose your actual body also become very conscious, for example your diet...
"Tai-Chi does not have distinct policy toward diet, we do the same just like other do, trying to listen to the body what like to take. You may feel like to eat something sour, sweet, right? We do the same with a little more attention. For me, not only for the diet, I am strictly alerted not to lean into one side in Tai-Chi thought. Tai-Chi take that the world is worked out with the balance of Yin-Yang. "
Did you find the own changes as you continue?
"Well...let see, probably I became more conscious of stint, what we say in Japanese."

Stint?? Does it mean the stint during the conversation?
"Not that, I mean more spacelike."
So it means like catching the sign of presence?
"That expression is to the point. However, to become too conscious of those factor is sometimes dangerous. It is not a good habit, so to say it's not balanced. For everything, we have to put the core in the middle. In Tai-Chi, the core of heart and body is at the below of our belly button."

You keep practicing Tai-Chi in the future and you will be honored as master. What do you expect to be a master of Tai-Chi.
"This my very personal opinion but the more that person is honored as a master, the more that person looks ordinary. They are never "obviously strange". In that sense, nothing particular has changed because of doing Tai-Chi, I mean the appearance.

So, how are you going to be involved with Tai-Chi in the future?
"Well, it is not a boom but Tai-Chi has become widely accepted in Japan. Then I even like to tell it from the Qigong and health care perspectives to more people. Now our daily life become busier and busier but we can easily calm down by tuning our internal channel. Tai-Chi is the good method that make it possible to anyone."

By the way, how long it takes people would be able to utilize Tai-Chi in that way?
"It is true for anything but I believe that is depend on how you can concentrate on it. For my case, it took around 3 years that I can utilize Tai-Chi in daily life and enjoy."
Does your body become tougher?
"In China, martial arts have bid two division, one is to temper the external body, such as Shaolinsi, the other is, like Tai-Chi, to adopt the Qigong and temper the internal core of body, In this way, I did not have particular changes with my appearance but I hardly catch the cold these days. Case of people called as master, their body is covered with spiritual energy, we call it curtain, and they will never catch the cold. I did not get that yet, haha."
"Also, since I keep relaxed maintain the state of mind, my nerve got so sensitive and I can react real quick if anything arise."

Other way around, what makes your sense insensitive.
" We are not allowed to do specific thing too much, or put a pressure too much. For example, to grab this glass, modern people put too much pressure by their second nature, or take extra steps. In Tai-Chi, we always pay attention to the core of body and always omit the extra motions, use least energy. "

"That means, when people strain, the stream of Qi will cease then."

"Probably, you will find the biggest changes when you are walking. When you pay an attention to one foot on the ground with the gravity, the other foot is released, totally relaxed. Hence you can walk with the least energy. This is Tai-Chi's basic. As you determine the core part, other parts have to be relaxed."

Do you think the idea to use least energy, omit the waste is related to our origin as a farmer? So to say, we can never spend a day with full muscle all day long. That has created an idea to loosen the muscle.
"Aahs, that could be right. Yet from that sense, Japanese people used to have that idea from Edo period, far back we import Tai-Chi. I also do swordplay and it requires to loosen the muscle, take the minimum action, too. I suppose we have this kind of way of thinking originally in Japan."

That is COOL.
"Or even for Japanese dancing or tea ceremony, it comes with minimum motions. I suppose Japanese people know the importance of THEM by heart...."


Generally, this interview is recorded and I listen to it afterwards but his voice is too comfortable to my year and I became sleepy. Hence I had to repeat it for several times. Actually, it is totally impossible for me to express his way of speaking with my poor writings.

Once before, I had a chance to ask an American girl what does she like about Japan.
She shortly answered "minimalism".
At that moment, I only thought about the minimum in terms of space and today, Chin-san made me find that word contains more than just a space matter.
Actually, most of the cased, the word "minimum" is seldom used in positive way in our daily life.
In our ages, it is always good to achieve "maximum" for everything.
To aim the maximum, we have to ignore the own limit.
To aim the minimum, we have to mind ourselves.
Is this too far to say?
And the direction toward minimum, to learn about own, Tai-Chi or other ancient wisdom is quite useful.
It is not only for the individuals, but I see the hint to solve so many troubles that the world today has.